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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Trader Joe's Strawberry Fruit Spread with Natural Rose Flavor

Sometimes, only a good biscuit will do.

You know the type. Warm, soft and flaky inside. Slight crispy and greasy outside. Buttermilky. Carby. So amazingly, deliciously good, a little disc of heaven here on earth. Nothing can make them better, right?

Man, I wish that either my wife or I could make biscuits like that. Because we can't, and that means I can't put some Trader Joe's Strawberry Fruit Spread with Natural Rose Flavor all over top of them.

I weep.

This spread is totally my jam. Totally. It's soft, smooth and 100% spreadable all over the place. Aside from an occasional crispy from a stray seed, it's practically melt in your mouth good.

And taste? Dang. The spread is unmistakably strawberryesque and sweet, but not in an over-the-top, cloying way. I mean, yes, there's some added sugar but when isn't there in any type of fruit spread? Just goes with the territory. Plus the rose flavor seems to help keep the sugariness in check by offering just the right amount of balance. It's really quite something to taste.

It's not biscuits that came to mind for Sandy when she first sampled this new TJ's strawberry spread. Nope. Her first thought: Cupcakes, and using the spread as a fruity filling. I can get 100% behind that. Both of us aren't that big into cream-cheese-and-jam type deals but if you are, this would probably work. Or in some yogurt with a little granola. Or most anything else one could use jelly for...keep it outta the pb&j's, though. Or at least the ones for the kiddos. I have absolutely zero complaints, while Sandy only notes she wishes it were a little more rose-flavored. Regardless it's a great little pickup, and spread some on some tasty biscuits for us. Lucky.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Strawberry Fruit Spread with Natural Rose Flavor: 8 out of 10 Golden Spoons 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Trader Joe's Banana & Almond Butter Protein Smoothie Beverage

I used to be in love with smoothies. I had Jamba Juice for dinner at least three or four nights a week when I lived in L.A. While living on the east coast, I missed my Jamba. There was exactly one location in the Philly area, but it wasn't at a convenient location for me.

Since Sonia and I have been traveling, we've found Jamba Juice in the most random locations: Utah, Idaho, and all over Washington State, among others. It's safe to say they have a much greater foothold out west. There still aren't enough locations, though, that we can have it with any regularity. So we're always sampling other brands of juice blends and smoothies.

This selection isn't bad if you're seeking a fast and easy protein source. The taste? It's nothing to write home about. Sonia almost never craves more sweetness, but she did in this instance. Considering "banana" is the first word in the title, I think there could have been a lot more banana flavor. That would have helped with the sweetness factor, as well as the overall taste.

It's really not terrible, either. You can taste a hint of banana flavor and there's definitely almond butter up in the mix, and something very...proteiny? My auto spell check is insisting that "proteiny" isn't a word. But it should be. Because it describes the finish of this beverage perfectly. It must be the "pea protein." Peas are never something I'm looking for in a smoothie. I know, I know. Pea protein is a thing. It's a good way to get protein in just about anything, I guess. I'm just not thrilled to see it here.

They've packed a fair amount of protein, good fat, and calories into a one pint bottle for three bucks. It's filling. It's not going to kill you. But for me to drink something like this with any consistency, it's just gotta taste a liiiiittle bit better than this. There's also a slight notion that "pureed gravel" is an ingredient, as far as the texture goes. I promise you there's no gravel in any form in there, but the back of my throat and tongue attest otherwise. Please note I said "pureed" gravel, not just plain gravel—basically, it's a bit chalky. It's really not that bad. I'm just good at complaining. 

Probably not a repeat purchase for us, but if you're looking for a compact, convenient drinkable lunch or supplement, it'll pass as a protein shake. I'll throw out three stars. Sonia will go half a star higher. 

Bottom line: 6.5 out of 10.

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